1920s Hairstyles

1920s hairstyle
Photo: Olga Semenova/Shutterstock
Some of us can only think and try to reflect on what things must have been like in the 1920s and what a stylish flapper looked like. We have seen pictures and movies, but how much does that really tell us? Well, think of our modern-day Betty Boop with boyish hips wearing a sack dress and a flat chest, and there you have it!
In the 1920s, it was a process of elimination and women with large busts would bind themselves until they were flat. Can you imagine how the more seasoned and mature look of the Edwardian era must have felt with all the freedom their granddaughters had, and their voluptuous figures? “I’m so jealous of you, you have less than me and I have too much!” It's a far cry from today. If you had a boyish look with no chest or hips, you’d fit right in.
Most were handy at the sewing machine and many women found it easy to sew their shift-style dress at home. Considering that World War I was going on just before that time, only the wealthy could wear clothes with luxurious fabrics. They were dancing to the craze of the Charleston, which went right along with the short dresses, raccoon skin coats, and the jalopies the college crowd would travel in. Hollywood portrays the twenties as part of speakeasies, prohibition, moonshine, and gangsters driving by shooting other gangsters, all of which had a part in that time, along with the daring haircuts! Most women wouldn't think of cutting their hair, as it was their crowning glory.
The ladies of this era began with the lovely page boy hairstyle that curled gracefully under and gained influence for its femininity, loved by men the world over. From there, the styles evolved into pursuing a more plucky style, and many women stormed the salons for the simple, straight-looking bob. Walking in town or at social gatherings soon recognized the fact; that everyone’s hair was short and all one length.
1920s flapper girl look with a hat
Photo: Olena Zaskochenko/Getty Images via Canva
We know today, there are "Joan of Arcs" leading the way in hairdressing, and because of that, Joan's tediousness turned into a creative streak that led the way into a whole new world of styling. Before you knew it, they were boldly shingling up the back and getting Marcel waves and finger waves. The granddaddy of all time arrived on the scene when the infamous style "Eton" arrived, amusing some of the neighborhood and shocking the rest of their peers due to the unapologetic immodesty attached to the stigma of wearing such a cut. Because there is a purpose for everything we do, whether we care to admit it or not, "Joan" and the girls had their reasons for getting all their hair cut off.
At the time, it was popular to wear the "Cloche" hat. These hats had to fit very closely to the head, and the only way to achieve a perfect fit was to practically shave their heads. Foreheads were not in fashion at the time (which would be good news for those with short foreheads, I suppose.), as the hat's brim would lie over the forehead to give a completely flapper look and for her to show to all who saw her that she was "the woman" of that age. This may have been the early roots of the feminist movement. The women actually had to learn how to keep their heads at a certain level while walking so they wouldn't bump into anything. What we won't do for fashion! Ode to vanity!
1920s hair with a short nape for women
Photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstock
The look of the greasy, brilliantine-dark shine, laden with subterranean waves, would completely outline her skull. Ah, but alas, the cranial reconnaissance was apparently stylish, even if it does sound rather ghostly to us when we begin to consider the amount of lather upon her head. With this look, they would sometimes wear different arrays and colors of bands admired from the Greek culture.
After this daring era of women taking their dauntless stand of cutting most of their hair off, a meltdown of the hearts soon followed when they decided they once again wanted to exhibit more softness in their hair and began growing their hair in wavy waves. Stylists put their clippers on the shelf to gather dust, for a season as hair appeared on their necklines in various shapes and styles, but always to accommodate the very latest of hats in fashion.
See also: Retro hair